Speech Therapy for Children
Is your child not developing at the pace you feel they should be?
Have they passed their second birthday and not started speaking yet?
Has your child been diagnosed with a developmental disability?
If so, District Speech can help.
We’ll work with you and your child to overcome the factors holding them back.
Read on to find out how.
What Sort Of Speech Development Issues Do Children Face?
There are a number of different reasons why your child may benefit from speech therapy. Below, you’ll find some of the more common ones.
If your child has had frequent ear infections between birth to three years of age, it can impact their hearing. This is particularly true if there is a large fluid build-up in their ears. Speech sounds may appear muffled and unclear to your child, which can cause a delay in the development of their speech and language.
If you have consulted with an audiologist and were referred to a speech pathologist, District Speech can help. We’ll work with you and your child on ensuring their speech and language continues to develop following resolution of their hearing delays.
Cleft Palate/Cleft Lip
If your child has a cleft lip or cleft palate, they have a split in their upper lip or the roof of their mouth, respectively. It’s among the most common type of birth defect, and can be corrected in most cases.
Children born with cleft lip/palate may end up with speech difficulties, since the palate is an important component of how we form words. Their voices may end up sounding nasally, or they may have difficulty pronouncing certain words.
District Speech can help. We’ll work with both you and your child to overcome these limitations, with the goal of developing normal speech patterns.
Autism Spectrum Disorders
If your child has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), they will face unique speech and language difficulties.
It’s about more than just learning how to speak – they’ll need to learn how to use language to communicate in the first place. This includes learning how to pick up on both verbal and nonverbal cues.
Speech and language difficulties as a result of autism can manifest in a number of different ways. Your child may:
- Be non-verbal
- Shriek, grunt, or roar
- Repeat what others say
- Speak in either excessively musical tone or monotone
- Say word-like nonsensical sounds
- Have difficulty with eye contact
- Have difficulty with hand gestures or body language
- Have difficulty understanding the context of words
- Have difficulty growing their vocabulary
If your child already has the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, or you they are showing signs but not yet received a diagnosis, contact District Speech today. We’ll work to uncover the source of your child’s speech difficulties and connect you with the right team of professionals who can help.
Whether it’s autism or something else, we’ll put together a treatment plan designed to help your child move past their developmental difficulties.
Is your child having trouble talking, as well as trouble eating?
Do chewing, blowing, whistling, or other oral activities present complications?
If so, they may have an oral-motor disorder.
These issues generally manifest in the following categories:
- Dysarthria – caused by weakness in the oral muscles
- Oral apraxia – caused by an issue with the signals your child’s brain sends to their mouth
- Delayed muscular development
If your child is facing these difficulties, District Speech can help. We’ll work with you and your child to provide support, and give you exercises you can do with your child to improve their condition.
Apraxia Of Speech
While the oral-motor disorders listed above are related to motor control issues, apraxia of speech is an issue related to the brain.
With childhood apraxia of speech, the brain has trouble coordinating movement of the muscles involved with speech. The muscles themselves are generally just fine.
If your child has apraxia of speech, they may develop their language later than expected. The words they do learn tend to be limited, and may share mostly the same consonant and vowel sounds. As your child grows, they may learn to form distorted versions of other letter sounds.
With speech therapy, many children can overcome their apraxia of speech, or greatly reduce its symptoms.
Orofacial myofunctional disorder, or tongue thrust is a condition where children create a seal in their mouth to swallow by pressing their tongue against their lips. It’s common or infants to do this, but they generally stop once their first teeth start emerging. If they continue after this, it may cause complications.
The pressure of your child’s tongue pressing against their teeth can cause issues with how their teeth grow. It can create an overbite as well, and cause problems with how their speech develops.
Because tongue thrusting is such a common disorder, we’ve created a separate page to address this concern. You can read more about tongue thrust here .
Other Speech Difficulties
Other issues your child may face include:
- Developmental or cognitive disabilities
- Fluency disorders
- Dyslexia and other learning disabilities
- Swallowing disorders
- Recovery from traumatic brain injury
What Does Speech Therapy For Children Look Like?
If you’re interested in speech therapy for your child, it helps to know what to expect.
We work quite closely with adults to help them overcome their speech difficulties. But when it comes to children, it’s you, the parent, who needs to pay the closest attention.
If your child has a developmental delay, they may not be able to comprehend what their speech therapist is saying. In that case, we play more of a supportive role. We’ll provide you with a series of exercises to do with your child, answer your questions, and guide you in your child’s journey.
We still work directly with your child as well, though. We’ll play with them, talk to them, and use different materials and evidence based strategies objects to help stimulate their development.
When Should I Bring My Child In For Speech Therapy?
When it comes to speech therapy, early intervention is key.
While older children can still benefit from speech therapy, they’ve had more time to establish bad habits they need to break.
If your child has reached age two and hasn’t yet been able to talk or is still only using single words to communicate, it’s time to book an appointment with District Speech.
Book An Appointment With District Speech
Is your child having difficulty speaking?
This can be a frightening realization. You may be worried about the repercussions they may face later in life.
But delayed speech doesn’t need to haunt your child for the rest of their lives. There is hope.
District Speech can help.
Book an appointment with District Speech today, and find out how we can help your child.
Speech therapy has been proven to help children with delayed development catch up with their peers. In many cases, speech therapy can entirely resolve your child’s communication issues, or at least improve them.
Our speech therapists have experience in helping a wide variety of children with developmental delayed speech habits.
Book your appointment with District Speech today, and help your child enjoy true freedom in their speech.
Contact us today to find out how.